On Oct. 29, Fox News’ Michelle Malkin spoke at CC about her new book, “Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies.” While the turnout wasn’t as large and the behavior wasn’t as heated. Malkin’s discussion proved to be just as tense and interesting as Bay Buchanan’s talk last year. Malkin began by explaining herself; she stated that there is no hatred on her part towards the Democratic Party or President Obama, but a disagreement on fundamentals. She pointed out the sense of entitlement that some Democrats have over women and minorities and that she, along with other women or minority conservatives, are branded as traitors of their gender and ethnicity. She pointed out that Obama and his administration are just as corrupt as previous administrations, and that blind identity is dangerous regardless of the political party. While many CC students, myself included, disagree with her on certain issues, and while there were fallacies in her rhetoric, there was a lot to take away from Malkin’s discussion.
For one, she pointed out the Democratic sense of entitlement regarding women and minorities. She claimed that an official Obama campaign slogan, geared directly at women, is “Vote like Your Lady Parts Depend on it.” She stated that as a woman, she finds it insulting to believe that the only thing women care about is birth control or women’s rights. While the quote itself was taken out of context, (it was on the official Obama 2012 Campaign Tumblr Page and was a SomeEcard), she brought about an interesting point: such a slogan implies that women shouldn’t care about other issues. Malkin argued that, as a woman, she cares about the state of the economy, unemployment, national security, and many other issues, not just birth control. She also pointed out that as a minority, she is expected to vote Democrat and as a conservative she is considered a “traitor.” I think what we should take away from these observations is how politics use gender and ethnicity. Because I am a woman or a minority, should I vote for a certain candidate? Must my political identity align with stereotypical qualities or characteristics? Am I less of a woman or a traitor to my heritage because I identify myself as a conservative?
Secondly, Malkin adressed the questioning of authority. To assume that the Democratic Party or President Obama and his administration are free from corruption is naïve. She used Solyndra as an example of how corruption shows no favoritism. No one, especially in a position of power, is free from corruption. Malkin brought up how, despite campaign promises for complete transparency in his administration, Obama has yet to deliver. She also brought up how certain insurance companies were exempt from his healthcare plan. Glorifying Obama as an incorruptible politician is especially naïve. If anything, what we can take away from Malkin’s speech is that we must make rational and well-informed decisions when it comes to who we put in power. Using sound bites and borderline idolatry is a waste of our vote. Don’t cast your ballot thinking you’re voting for a saint; you’re voting for a politician. Malkin certainly had her fair share of fallacies, especially about the relation between government and business and American exceptionalism. However, the inaccuracies of her speech should not necessarily be the focal point of the discussion. At CC, we do not know how to listen to and learn from different political views. During the Q&A, there were condescending attitudes; I believe that we have a right to disagree, but being disrespectful is no way to show what a liberal arts education teaches us. CC students’ behavior was much more appropriate when compared to Bay Buchanan’s talk last year, but we should approach these events with an open mind and try to learn something new.